After a phenomenal 2011 season, his first with the Red Sox, Alfredo Aceves had endeared himself to Red Sox fans as one of the best relief pitchers and swingmen in the game of baseball. During that season, Aceves threw a ridiculous 114 innings out of the bullpen while posting a 2.61 ERA and 80 strikeouts to 42 walks. Since that season, Aceves has clashed with management; he was suspended three games last season for engaging in some choice words with Bobby Valentine, and he was in John Farrell‘s dog house this year after not trying during live batting practice in spring training.
Although his statistics don’t reflect it yet, Aceves’s 2013 is starting to look a bit more like his 2011 season than his 2012, where he struggled mightily and posted a 5.36 ERA. Aceves’ ERA sits at an unimpressive 5.58 through his 8 appearances and 5 starts with the Red Sox. However, if one removes a terrible start against Oakland where he went only 3.1 innings and allowed 7 earned runs, Aceves’ stats are looking quite a bit better. Aside from that start, he has a 3.95 ERA and 19:15 K:BB ratio in 27.1 innings pitched.
While those statistics are from from great, they are very valuable to receive from somebody who has spent much of the season shuttling between Pawtucket and Boston. When one is forced to call up a spot starter, one never really knows what they’ll get. However, Aceves has been solid in four of his five starts to begin the season.
He will likely be back in the majors to pitch on Tuesday, when the Red Sox play a double-header against the same Rays that he dominated last night– allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings. The Rays as a whole have struggled against Aceves, as Aceves has held them to a .168 average in his time with the Red Sox. Aceves will be the likely candidate for the 26-man expanded roster on Tuesday, and if he can pitch like this, that’s extremely valuable.